It came the day after they beat Spurs 3-1 at Wembley, so Manchester City's Premier League title celebration will wait for next Sunday when they host Swansea City. It's sort of fitting given the recent results that have called the City season into question.
Lifting the Premier League trophy rights a lot of issues, but this is still a club that couldn't hang in the Champions League and couldn't send a massive message by beating Manchester United to seal the title. It's not the same statement of intent as Manchester United losing to a different team on a different day to push the trophy City's way. Manchester City eventually taking the title was a foregone conclusion. It's how they won it adding to a less flattering 2017-18 story.
Manchester City as a problem is now a common refrain. This is a Premier League champion that couldn't get past a Premier League team in the Champions League quarterfinals. That two-leg loss to Liverpool continues to loom large. So does not finishing up the title campaign at the earlier opportunity. That's not going to dampen the celebrating now or when the team officially parades the trophy. That doesn't change things for Manchester City in England or Europe.
“People are asking whether we are the best Premier League side in history, but the answer is no, because we have a lot of work to still do," Manchester City center back Vincent Kompany told his club's official site. "But in our defence, we can only be judged on a period of time, so we need, two, three or four years in a row and if at the end of this we are consistent like we have been this season, then perhaps but we have taken one step, that all we can do at the moment.”
Kompany is right, of course. With City out of the Champions League and the FA Cup, it's hard to make the case for this City squad as the best ever. Still, he's got a point. We could be watching the beginnings of manager Pep Guardiola's project, one that doesn't require a Lionel Messi and silences the critics who think that's the only way he'll win again in Europe.
Guardiola's City has the money. With that comes the pressure of answering the super club complaint. If the money is there, and we all know it is, why isn't City still in the Champions League? Unless you're already with City, it's Liverpool winning in Europe that's the biggest story of this Premier League season.
BBC Sport with a statistical look at Manchester City in the Premier League this season. The Independent's Jack Pitt-Brooke makes the case for Guardiola's stubbornness with Manchester City. The Guardian's Jonathan Wilson on how good City is this season.
MLSsoccer.com's Matthew Doyle's look at week 7. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Patricia Madej reports that the Union want a mascot. The Columbus Dispatch's Michael Arace uses DC United as the example for what a city should want from an MLS team. Pro Soccer USA's Joey Flechas and Douglas Hanks update the Miami stadium site search.
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